"Difficult" PACE session kicks off Monday as Russians planning to return – Gerashchenko
First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko says certain interested parties in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe still have a plan for returning the Russian delegation to the Assembly's session hall.
"Today a difficult session of the PACE begins: the election of the governing bodies, new president of the Assembly, group of the European People's Party, committee chairmen. The Russians did not send their delegation to the January session, but the plan remains for their return without any conditions, and it is still a working plan for so many in the Assembly. Therefore, the political year will be difficult, so our unity is very important," Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook.
Read alsoRussia not to attend PACE January session – mediaShe also noted that the election of a new chairman and candidates for the heads of committees had been discussing at the meeting of the European People's Party group.
PACE in April 2014 barred Russian delegates from participating in the work of its Bureau, the Presidential Committee, and the Standing Committee.
Russia did not renew its credentials before the PACE 2016 winter session and put forth conditions for its return, insisting on the full restoration of its delegates' voting rights.
Jagland earlier warned of a serious risk that Moscow could withdraw or crash out of the 47-member body unless its demands are met.